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Feature Article

Telefonica: Deep Value Returning to Growth

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 3, 2018
Shares of Aggressive Holding Telefonica SA (Spain: TEF, NYSE: TEF) have been hit this year by a weakened Euro/US dollar exchange rate and concern about the health of emerging markets. The company garners roughly half its revenue from South America, including Brazil.

AT&T: Merging Network with Media

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 3, 2018
AT&T Inc’s (NYSE: T) court victory over the U.S. Department of Justice last month was as complete as any anti-trust ruling in memory. In fact, Judge Richard Leon actually warned government lawyers not to appeal and face certain failure.

Picking Your Spots in Choppy Times

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 3, 2018
We’re at the halfway mark for 2018. And so far, it’s been an almost completely flat performance for the CUI model portfolios. Including dividends, our Conservative Holdings are lower by -2.2 percent. Aggressive Holdings are underwater by -1.5 percent and the Top 10 DRIPs are down by -1.2 percent.

SCANA Cuts, Who’s Next?

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 3, 2018
SCANA Corp (NYSE: SCG) will cut its quarterly dividend to 12.37 cents a share starting with the July 18 payment. The -79.8 percent reduction is in response to the South Carolina state legislature, which last week passed a bill reducing the 18 percent rate hike to pay for the cancelled Summer nuclear plant to 3.2 percent.

Picks and Pans for Second Half 2018

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 3, 2018
One tenth of a percentage point: That’s the Dow Jones Utility Average’s first half 2018 return. The almost perfectly flat finish was not without its share of volatile moments. The upward spike in the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield, for example, triggered many well-capitalized investment strategies’ sell signals. And the last couple weeks reversed much of the resulting damage, as global trade worries catalyzed a flight into stocks perceived as not directly at risk.

De-Risked Kinder Morgan Is Ripe for Purchase

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 11, 2018
Successful big pipeline projects move the profit meter in the energy midstream business. But when they go wrong, they can quickly diminish a developer’s growth and financial health. That was the growing risk to Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE: KMI) before it sold its Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project to the Canadian government. Now management has CAD6.4 billion in saved capital expenditures as well as CAD4.5 billion in sales proceeds to invest in a wide range of potential projects. And that’s in addition to $12.7 billion of backlog already in development, targeted to produce $1.7 billion of additional EBITDA by 2021.

This Blue Chip Is Back in Range

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 11, 2018
Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) is the latest blue chip utility on our long-term target list to slip back to a buying range. This month, we’re adding the stock to the Conservative Holdings. Sempra’s business strengths are legion. On March 9, the company succeeded where Warren Buffett failed, closing on the former Texas Utilities’ regulated electricity transmission and distribution assets. The deal brought its regulated global utility customer base to over 43 million, including San Diego G&E, Southern California Gas and 6 million users in Chile and Peru.

Strategy: The Art of Buying Low

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 11, 2018
Everyone wants to buy low and sell high. But in practice many investors do the opposite, particularly with daily stock market trading dominated by exchange traded funds and algorithmic investment strategies. For us, this means opportunity. Specifically, we’re able to buy high quality essential services companies at the lowest valuations in many months.

Enbridge Eats Its Young

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 11, 2018
Enbridge Inc (TSX: ENB, NYSE: ENB) is buying the remaining common units of the two US MLPs it controls: Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP) and Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE: SEP). It’s a good deal for the acquirer, which is buying these assets for barely 7 times cash flow. Absorbing the regulated natural gas and oil pipelines should dodge a possible Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-mandated rate cut. And management has affirmed three-year earnings guidance while promising faster growth after 2020.

Utility M&A Heats Up: 3 Ways to Bet

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 11, 2018
Mergers and acquisitions have been part of the landscape for as long as utilities and essential services have been around. And remarkably, not one deal has failed to create a stronger company.



Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth. Roger b